COVID-19 Update: Vaccination rates, Wastewater signals, Accessing restaurants and the gym, and more

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The following updates are provided by the Return-to-Campuses steering committee.

U of G reporting high vaccination rates

More than 24,000 people at our Guelph and Ridgetown campuses have now provided information about their vaccination status through our Vaccination Proof and Exemption system. Of those who have provided information, 99 per cent are partially or fully vaccinated and 1 per cent have requested or been granted an exemption.

Of the nearly 20,000 students who have provided information:

  • 94% are fully vaccinated
  • 5% are partially vaccinated

Of the faculty and staff who have provided information:

  • 97% are fully vaccinated
  • 2% are partially vaccinated

Wastewater testing

The University’s early warning system of wastewater surveillance is detecting higher amounts of COVID-19-causing virus on campus. This follows other early indicators this week, including a Public Health advisory, of elevated risk at U of G and in the greater Guelph community. It is important that all members of the U of G community remain vigilant to prevent this from becoming a larger problem.

  • Continue to follow all University and Public Health measures, including mask wearing, social distancing, good hand hygiene, minimizing of indoor gatherings and gathering outside only in small groups.
  • Complete the University COVID-19 screening form daily if you are coming to campus.
  • Isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

Wastewater surveillance is an additional step that the University is taking to help keep the U of G community safe. It offers the ability to scan countless samples in a non-invasive way. One sample of wastewater can contain virus particles from thousands of people. The virus may be shed in the feces of those infected with COVID-19 days before they begin to feel ill and up to two or three weeks after.

The U of G team was one of the first in Canada to begin wastewater surveillance efforts. For the past 11 months, the researchers have sampled wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 in several municipalities and U of G residences. This past spring, the team expanded efforts to include testing for new variants.

Proof of vaccination to access restaurants and Athletics as of Sept. 22

The provincial government has indicated that as of Sept. 22, individuals must show photo ID and proof of vaccination to access restaurants, bars, gyms and other high-risk settings.

Although all faculty, staff and students who are accessing U of G buildings will have submitted their proof of vaccination through the U of G Vaccination Proof and Exemption system, to align with the provincial requirements you will still be required to show your vaccination receipts and photo ID to enter the following:

  • the Brass Taps
  • the Bullring
  • the Lookout
  • the Athletics Centre, Field House and the Gryphons Centre Arena – including to watch games. Learn more on the Athletics Centre website.

This regulation does not apply to residence dining halls, Creelman Hall or Alumni Stadium.

Submit your proof of vaccination

Even if you’re not coming to campus for work or face-to-face classes, please upload your proof of vaccination to U of G’s Vaccination Proof and Exemption system. This data helps us better understand the vaccination rate for our community.

Reporting positive cases

U of G’s Case Reporting page provides information on positive COVID-19 cases where the individual who tested positive has been at a U of G location within the past 14 days.

When an individual who has been on our campus tests positive, we follow guidance from Public Health. Through contact tracing, Public Health will directly connect with any individuals deemed to be high-risk contacts.

If Public Health determines there is a significant health and safety risk to the University community, the University will be provided with directives and will take appropriate steps, which could include contacting instructors or managers and supervisors for assistance.

Updated travel protocols

Two new documents related to non-research-related University travel are now available on the U of G COVID-19 website.


The University’s COVID-19 website is your best source of information on U of G’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Return to Campuses website provides essential information for those coming to campus. If you need to be on campus, make sure you complete the U of G COVID-19 Screening Form every day before you arrive.